Following Saturday evening’s New York Comic Con panel there was a press conference with cast and producers. TrekMovie was there to hear them discuss characters, connections and canon.
Canon issues will be dealt with by the end
When asked about how Discovery fits with the rest of the Star Trek universe and, specifically, if it tied in with the Prime or the Kelvin timeline and how that reconciled with more advanced technology seen on the show, executive producer Akiva Goldsman clarified:
We are not the Kelvin timeline…which is a reboot of the original timeline…We are not part of that timeline, we are the original timeline with the TV shows and the movies that fit into that. We are ten years before The Original Series…Where Constitution Class ships are in comparison to where this Discovery prototype – well one of two prototypes, well now one of one prototypes – are technologically is obviously a variant. We are wildly aware of everything that appears to be a deviation from canon. We will will close out each of those issues before we arrive at the 10 year period and hit TOS.
The use of site-to-site transporting as seen in the third episode of Discovery, was specifically mentioned as something that seemed too advanced. Anthony Rapp noted that “Scotty could do it” and he pointed out that the USS Discovery is a newer ship than the USS Enterprise. Co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg also joined in noting there was some thought put into this one element:
We talked about it a lot because we knew it was a controversial thing. And we just made the decision that on this ship, you can do it. Since Lorca is a different kind of captain he does it and other captains do not because there are dangers involved.
At different times during the conference some of the actors talked about how they have (or have not) incorporated some past Trek characters into their own.
Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) talked about how she went back and watched all of the Klingon-centric episodes of Star Trek to prepare for the role of L’Rell, paying particularly close attention to Klingon women and there was one character in particular she really connected with:
I keep referencing a character that really resonated with me was Grilka in Deep Space Nine, because it is a real poignant story line of a woman who cannot succeed in her husband’s house because she is a woman…ultimately, though, through her intelligence and perseverance – and the help of Quark – she does become the leader of her own house. I do think what is fun about the Klingons is they allow women to very strong, they are innately strong women, but they still do live within this patriarchal species. I am really excited to see how you guys perceive L’Rell’s relationship within this patriarchal Klingons species. I am thrilled with how we have incorporated that in her story.
Wilson Cruz (Dr. Culber) was new to Star Trek, but says he has done his doctor research:
If [Spock] was the brain and Kirk was the brawn, then McCoy was the heart. And I wanted to infuse [Culber] with as much of that sensibility as possible.
Jason Isaacs (Captain Lorca), who was a fan of Star Trek growing up, says he has tried to keep Lorca different:
I had no desire to be a pale shadow of any of the brilliant stuff I had seen before. So, everything was constructed backwards to not be like anyone I had seen on Star Trek.
More quick quotes
Anthony Rapp (Lieutenant Stamets) on how Discovery compares to other Star Trek shows [which he has been binging]:
I don’t know if [the producers] would say this but I feel [Discovery] really has the most DNA from what has come before is a blend of The Original Series and Deep Space Nine.
Jason Isaacs on how backstories will be revealed:
The richness of these people’s lives will be revealed including who Lorca is, and why Lorca is, and what has happened to him.
Finally, Akiva Goldsman on if we will find out what Spock thinks of Michael Burnham’s mutiny:
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.